Just Say “No” to Taxpayer Funded Medical Marijuana Raids

Since 2014, the Department of Justice has been prohibited from using taxpayers’ funds to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that regulate its medical use.

But that could all change this week as Congress decides how to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

At issue is a provision known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state…

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Legal Marijuana: The Sky is (Probably) Not Falling

Legal Marijuana: The Sky is (Probably) Not Falling | Phillip Smith

Barrels of ink have been spilled over the prospect that the Trump administration could attempt to turn back the clock when it comes to legal marijuana, but for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth out there, marijuana industry insiders, advocates, and activists don’t seem all that worried. “I don’t think there’s any more reason […]

Legal Marijuana: The Sky is (Probably) Not Falling | The Daily Chronic

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So We Have Attorney General Sessions. Whats Next For Marijuana?

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

Despite historic opposition, members of the United States Senate voted 52 to 47 last week to approve the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General.

While we are disappointed with this outcome, we are pleased that several members of Congress cited the…

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Senate Votes to Confirm Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Senate voted 52 to 47 Wednesday to confirm Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General. Most Republicans voted for him; most Democrats voted against him.

The vote comes after two months of organized opposition as hundreds of organizations expressed concerns about Sessions’s record and racially-charged statements he has made in the…

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Senate Judiciary Votes to Advance ‘Drug-War Dinosaur’ Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to advance the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States. The vote was 11 to 9, with no Democrats supporting the nominee. The nomination will now go to the Senate floor for a full and final vote.

“Jeff Sessions is a disaster for drug policy and criminal justice reform,”…

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Senate Judiciary Advances the Nomination of Marijuana Prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to be the Attorney General

WASHINGTON, DC — Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to be the next US Attorney General on a party line vote of 11 to 9.

There a numerous groups in the criminal justice advocacy space, ranging from the NAACP to the ACLU who are opposed Senator Sessions becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer for various reasons, ranging from his positions on voting rights, capital punishment, and…

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AG Nominee Sessions Responds to Marijuana Questions from Senators

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has issued written responses to marijuana-related questions from several US Senators, but those answers still do not clarify the Trump Administration’s stance on marijuana legalization by states.

While on the campaign trail, President-elect Trump said that marijuana legalization was an issue for the states to…

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Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing Draws Mixed Reactions from Marijuana Organizations

During his confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) avoided giving a straight answer on how he will handle states that have legalized marijuana, drawing a mixed reaction from organizations advocating for further marijuana law reform.

Erik Altieri, Executive Director of the NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says Session’s responses could be “leaving the door open” for…

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Action Alert: Call the Judiciary Committee Today to Protect Marijuana Progress

On January 10th and 11th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the nomination of Jeff Sessions to become the next Attorney General. Over the course of these two days, marijuana reformers and citizens alike from around the country will be calling members of the committee to have them ask a simple question: Does Sen. Sessions intend to respect the will of the voters in the majority of US states that have enacted to pursue alternative marijuana policies?

The stakes are high.

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Jeff Sessions Evades Firm Answer on State Marijuana Laws

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

During his confirmation for the position of Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions failed to give a straight answer with regard to how the Justice Department should respond to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

The Alabama Senator was questioned by both Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) with respect to whether the principles of…

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NORML Releases Open Letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Marijuana Policy

Indiana Governor Mike Pence addresses a news conference where he was introduced as the vice presidential running mate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in New York City, U.S., July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

National NORML, Michigan NORML and dozens of other state and local chapters have released an open letter to Vice President-Elect Pence seeking clarity and common sense from the incoming administration regarding marijuana policy.

During the campaign,…

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Hearing Set for Jeff Sessions Attorney General Nomination

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

It’s official, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has set January 10-11, 2017 for the confirmation hearing of noted marijuana law reform opponent Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to become the next Attorney General.

Already it appears that Sen. Grassley will…

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Trump Adds Another Marijuana Opponent to Cabinet

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has been picked by President-elect Donald Trump as Health and Human Services secretary.  (photo/Gage Skidmore)

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has been picked by President-elect Donald Trump as Health and Human Services secretary. (photo/Gage Skidmore)

President-elect Donald Trump has picked another marijuana opponent to join his cabinet, tabbing Georgia Rep. Tom Price to serve as  Health and Human Services secretary.

This could be bad news for state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the 28 states that allow it.  While the Department of Justice — which, if he is confirmed by the Senate,…

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Will Trump’s Dead Alcoholic Brother Haunt His Drug Policy?

donald-trump

As incoming president, Donald Trump will be, among other things, the man in charge of the nation’s drug policy. Whether he takes a hand-on, direct approach to policy-making or whether he delegates decision-making authority on drug matters to subordinates—think Attorney General Jeff Sessions and shudder—the buck ultimately stops with Donald.

What a Trump administration will do with states that have legalized marijuana is a huge burning question, but the drug policy horizon…

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Sore Losers: Some State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

Election-2016

Political leaders in several states are threatening to thwart the implementation of voter-approved initiatives specific to the regulation of marijuana.

In Massachusetts, where voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent on election day to legalize the cultivation, use, and retail sale of cannabis by adults, politicians have suggested amending the law and delaying its implementation. Specifically, lawmakers have called for pushing back the date when adults may legally begin growing…

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Feds Give Up on Effort to Seize Nation’s Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

OAKLAND, CA — In a stunning victory for California’s marijuana industry, federal prosecutors have agreed to end their years-long effort to close and seize Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest dispensary with more than 100,000 patients.

Harborside broke the news with a press release Tuesday, followed up by a press conference attended by Oakland officials who have stood by the dispensary since then-US Attorney Melinda Haag went after in 2012.

The effort to shut down Harborside was part of a broader offensive against…

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Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

Victory! Feds Drop Another Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped its civil forfeiture action against Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA.

The case was brought by the DOJ back in 2011 as part of a federal crackdown against legal state medical cannabis dispensaries. The dropping of the case was at least in part the result of a Congressional amendment which prevents the DOJ from interfering with those abiding by their state medical cannabis law.

This marks the second time in recent weeks that the feds have dropped a case as a result of the Congressional…

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Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Harborside Health Center

A five year old asset forfeiture lawsuit against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the country’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, has finally been dropped by federal prosecutors, city and state officials announced Tuesday.

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan made the announcement in a press release Tuesday, which was quickly followed by a statement from Harborside and from California Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) praising the decision.

“As of today, Harborside Health Center is in the clear and will no longer have…

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Federal Court Ruling: Spending Limitation Approved in Congress Shields Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers Acting in Compliance With State Laws From Justice Dept. Actions

Federal Court Ruling: Spending Limitation Approved in Congress Shields Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers Acting in Compliance With State Laws From Justice Dept. Actions

DOJ officials had said they did not believe the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would affect individual cases; the sponsors of the amendment disputed that claim in letters to the attorney general and a request for an inspector general investigation

WASHINGTON, DC — A federal judge ruled Monday that a budget amendment approved by Congress prevents the Department of Justice from taking action against medical marijuana patients and providers who are operating in compliance with state laws.

Northern District of California Judge Charles Breyer said…

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Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

In Precedent-Setting Case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer Rules Justice Department in Violation of Federal Law and Lifts Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Dispensary; Judge Cites Recent Congressional Reforms, as Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Continues to Grow in Congress

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — On Monday, a federal judge lifted an injunction against one of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries.  The injunction can no longer be enforced in the wake of a congressional spending amendment passed by…

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